Brown Egg Blue Egg
By Dr. David J. Kersting, D.V.M.
From The American Cockatiel Society’s Online Magazine
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The first point to make is that the above problem occurs because:
- There are problems in the crop itself.
- There are problems somewhere else in the body affecting the hydration of the baby.
It is easy to understand the first statement. If there is a bacterial or yeast infection in the crop, it can cause abnormal changes in the crop. If there is a piece of corn cob in the crop, the same thing will happen. The second cause is a little harder to explain.
Let’s complicate this system further. The liver can have an infection which causes dehydration, but the 12 inch pipe (digestive system) needs fluid or water to move the food. If the baby is dehydrated, then the food can’t move down the pipe so things back up into the crop. Again, you get sour crop without a crop infection. The infection is elsewhere in the liver, but it affects the crop. Any illness which can cause dehydration will cause sour crop, Pneumonia, kidney infection, air sacculitis).
To complicate the baby’s illness, crops swollen with food in sour crop will draw water out of the blood stream and lead to further dehydration, which further slows down the movement of food down the pipe, which backs up more food into the crop which leads to further dehydration. If we do not break this vicious cycle, then the baby will die
To diagnose the cause, smears are made from the crop and droppings for gram stains and parasite checks. Feeling the crop checks for corn cob and other foreign objects. Blood work checks for infections in other parts of the body. X-ray looks for foreign objects below the crop and other sites of infections (Pneumonia) Cultures are done to find out exactly what infection is present
The sooner you notice a problem and start treatment, the better. If all movement of food out of the crop has stopped then it is harder to get it going again. If the crop is emptying half as fast as normal, then you have more time to get things moving before it stops all together. Remember we are working with babies and the more stress the weaker their chance for recovery
Early signs to look for include vomiting, dryer droppings (dehydration), red skin instead of pink skin. Notice if the crop is taking longer to empty. If you feed a bedtime but in the morning half the food is still in the crop, then this baby is already dehydrated and has an infection. A change in appetite, activity or weight gain are all important.
If you notice one change, then you have caught it early. If you wait until you have identified four changes, then you have waited too long and the baby will die
Prevention is strong, healthy parents which will not pass on infection, a clean nest box, and good hygiene for the person feeding and caring for the baby.
Brown Egg Blue Egg